Saturday, November 13, 2010

Passing of a Sister . . .

Dredges Up Hometown Memories

I'll guess I am reminising back about 75 years or so with this memory. It was not long before the New York World's Fair and probably a couple of years before the celebration of my hometown of Taunton's 300th anniversary.

I'm the last of three Hoye children who lived at 5 Pleadwell Street. About six weeks ago my sister Margery passed away in Oklahoma where she was living with two of her five children. Ill for sometime, she had, reluctantly, moved two years ago to Oklahoma.

Now in rummaging through many boxes of "stuff" in my garage to get rid of maybe 50 years or more of "savings" (at the occasional pushing of a wife also growing old with me) I am running across memories of Margery and brother Paul, now both gone, and of the neighbors of the 30s, 40s and up.

Here's one of those memories, drawn from my memory of a short handwritten note in a school book saying "she chopped more wood than me."

I knew a girl, close to my own age, living a few houses away from my abode on Pleadwell Street. I used to watch her working with her daddy who ran a business called B. Bullock Bagwood Company. Her name was Helen, born in 1920, three years before me.

She was chopping wood one day when I met her in the nearby wood yard that
Mr. Bullock had stacked with lots of short logs and where several men kept busy chopping them into fireplace size chunks. She said "I'm the strongest girl in the world, I can chop wood faster then anybody, more then them!"

Being me, I didn't want any girl saying she was better than me so I challenged her to a chopping contest. Don't ask me what happened after I started chopping.

I had not finished chopping the first log. She had finished three. I think she was eight years old. We became good friends when I visited her often and WATCHED her chopping wood.

After a while I had other interests I guess and didn't pay much attention to her
until I read in the newspaper one day that she was going to be an act at the New York World's Fair in 1940. The fair began really in 1939 but spilled over into the next year.

She was 20 then and with her light brown hair flying, she tackled a pile of wood and in 90 seconds had reduced the pile to a bushel of kindling and before eight minutes had passed she had chopped, packed and tied six bags of fireplace wood.

She had earned the right to claim the title "Strongest Girl in the World." I seem to remember that 50 years later she appeared on the Johnny Carson show
where in greeting him, she clamped a bear hug on Johnny, lifting him into the air and causing him to yell to the orchestra for help.

I never kept track of Helen Bullock although once I heard she was living somewhere in the west, maybe Wyoming or Colorado. She may no longer be among us.

Yeah, she was a pretty strong girl and yes, a pretty girl, too.

- 30 -

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


. . .Maybe A Bunch's Still There!

I don't drink liquor. Well, that's a little fib. Now and then I might imbibe but I don't have a stomach for it.
Long ago, like about 67 years ago, I learned a lesson when a bunch of GIs in England, feeling sorry for me on New Year's Eve when I pulled a CQ duty night and couldn't leave camp, bequeathed me a few bottles of soda (?).
They knew I was not a drinker so they told me the stuff they gifted me with was clear English-made soda. I had naught to do that night but write letters or read.
Weeks later my dear departed mother back in America, cried her heart out when she read a letter her baby wrote that night which made no real sense, having been penned by a son far under the influence of that clear soda. (Gognac)
Since then my imbibing (it had made me terribly sick that New Year's Eve of 1943) has been limited to my wedding day, once or twice or so with friends at a formal dinner and a few times when I had a wine cooler at the American Legion hall.


Those above paragraphs lead into the story of the rumrunners of the Mohawk Trail.
After living in Pennsylvania 10 years I moved with my family to Adams, Massachusetts and eventually we bought a vacant rundown restaurant atop Hoosac Mountain and along the Mohawk Trail in North Adams, transferring it into a rock and mineral shop and gift store.
After a few years we decided our five acres might also support a campground so we attempted to plan one, carving out a few one-lane trails. While doing so we ran into little hills now and then.
Describing them one day to a friend at the newspaper where I worked, the friend launched into a story about rumrunners and opined that I might have stumbled onto one of their stashes of bootleg liquor.
I decided to investigate, poking a shovel into one of the mini-hills which promptly exploded as I hit a glass bottle.
I told my newspaper friend what had happened . He decided to see for himself.
We climbed up a hill for a few hundred feet and found a sizeable mound. I worked carefully and uncovered several bottles.
We opened two and took a swig. I choked and quit while my friend glugged the contents of his bottle to the end, remarking as he drank "this the best moonshine I've ever had."
Tom McShane, a true Irishman , was the guy's name, sports editor at the paper, years older than me and full of stories. He launched into a yarn about the Mohawk Trail, relating that besides being a trail the Mohawk Indians followed for eons, it also was the pathway for rumrunners, men who transported illegal booze from Boston to points in New York and westward.
Tom reasoned that my five acres, atop the mountain just overlooking the city, was the ideal place to stash the booze while they made sure there were no feds in North Adams, just down and around the Hairpin Turn, who might end their journey.
Hiding the liquor therefore was done by digging hiding places in the dense woods. Why was there still such a big stash on our propeerty? No doubt the last rumrunners who hid a stash in the hills were picked up by feds in the city before they could get back to the trail.
Wonder if that stuff is still there?
- 30 -

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dad's Old Garage . . .

. . . Is Nearly Gone

This well built and sturdily supported (maybe by the fence) building was ancient when I was a kid with a Brownie camera (about 15, me, not the camera) snapping pictures all around Whittenton in my hometown of Taunton, Massachusetts.

Dad built this garage - when I don't know but sometime after he was married in 1922 - and it served the family well for a long time - until a big wind, probably the famous Hurricane of '38, knocked it askew.

I am not sure of the vintage of the automobile but it is a Ford and probably a 1928 or 1929 model. We, meaning Mother and Dad, brother Paul and sister Margery, had a lot of fun riding in that Ford, especially when it got us to the sandy oceanside vacations at Horseneck or Silver Beaches on Cape Cod, sometimes with our two cousin Reilly boys aboard.

My mind is a bit hazy now on the whereabouts of that car but I have two versions of car disposal, which could apply to the Ford or an older truck Dad once owned.

Paul and I and a bunch of kids from the neighborhood many times dug 10-foot deep holes in our sandy back yard where we buried all sorts of things.

I have a vivid memory of helping Dad dismantle piece by piece a vehicle that was worn out, no longer a running masterpiece from Detroit or some other vehicle-making place.

This dismantling could have been the Ford you see above or the truck I mentioned that preceded the Ford. In any case I remember many pieces of junk car parts going into one of our holes. Are those pieces still underground? Who knows?

Sometime in the 1960s, armed with my first metal detector and when visiting Taunton, I made it my business to search all through that backyard.

No car did I find but I did come up with a belt buckle engraved "R", probably Grampa Reilly's or Uncle Buck's one time loss and a ring, a nickel and a few pennies.

That metal detector probably only picked up iron and other metals a few inches under the lawn. Later I acquired a much more powerful detector and again searched the backyard but no car did I find. We boys must have done a good burial job.

I was a full grownup of 15 by the time 1939 came around and I perhaps took that picture of the leaning garage to use in an issue of THE BAY STATER which I had then begun to publish from the third floor of my home on a Columbia printing press.

I unearthed the photo just recently and it brought back the memories I have now shared with you. Maybe Margery will remember another backyard adventure to share. I know Paul must have had a few memories to share but unfortunately my much-loved brother Paul met his maker many years ago.

Before Dad passed away in 1975, he replaced that broken down garage with a new structure on a concrete foundation and used the place a number of years, besides as a home for his Buicks, as a workshop where with a batch of automatic saws, lathes and other stuff he constructed Adirondack chairs, as his grandson now does, caned chairs and made fancy doodads until his fingers lost agility.

- 30 -

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Ammunition . . .

. . . In Pinky's War

Only a few know that Lady B and I have been at "war" the past three years with a formidable enemy, a probably 20-pound 12-year old Chihuahua who involuntarily took up residence here after a tragic motor vehicle accident that claimed her former owner's life.

Why Pinky is at war with us, we do not know and we don't know either why there is a war. We do suspect her late owner either initiated the war or fostered one going back to another former owner.

Pinky is a human food eater. Has been for a long time. Must have
luke-warm chicken or pork, maybe sometimes meat loaf, sometimes bacon or sausage, done not too hard. DON'T FEED ME STUFF FROM A BAG OR A CAN.

Pinky's late owner pan-cooked everything that went into the little blue dish on the floor in the corner. She will accept plain ole tap water.

Over the years nearly every brand of bagged food for little dogs has been purchased, placed in the little blue dish and left uneaten for days
unless there has been absolutely no cooked food available. Even then she'll go hungry.

Lady B and I patronize the local all-you-can-eat mall restaurant once or twice a week and admittedly break the no-take-out rules by ordering one extra piece of chicken, liver or pork and squirreling same into a baggie in Lady B's purse to take home a "present" for Pinky.

That little lady is wily I must say. Her war is expanding. SHE'S DISCOVERED NEW AMMUNITION IN HER WAR --- the dog food that's been coming at her in bags.

Up to very recent times, Pinky has been lifting various dog food pellets from the little blue dish and scattering them on the carpets in every room in the house. Sort of a ' I gotta get rid of this stuff somehow.'

A few nights ago Lady B brought from the store a new brand of bagged food pellets that look like pieces of liver but are hard and with sharp corners or points. Pinky tried one and just gazed at us intently until she stared us down.

That evening after we retired and fell asleep, I rolled over and felt a jab in the ribs, another in one leg. In the morning after awakening I pulled back the sheets and found - - - two pieces of the latest sharp-cornered dog food.

Of course I knew instantly what it was - but how did it get there? The next night and several more after that the same happened.

So we switched beds after figuring out Pinky was hauling in dog food and hiding it - like telling us "I don't like this stuff." We had one peaceful sleep in our substitute bed.

Today I did a search. Found dog food pellets in THREE beds. Removed all the food and then rested on the master bed a few minutes. As I rose and stepped to the floor in my bare feet, a sharp jab in one foot. Yes, dog food.

And then I caught her hiding food in our master bed. Problem discovered but a solution? Who's got an idea?

Pinky, you may starve the rest of the week if you don't learn to eat bagged or canned dog food 'cause THERE AIN'T NO CHICKEN, LIVER, BACON, MEAT LOAF OR PORK LEFT !

- 30 -

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Strange Happenings . . .

. . . A New Batch Today

Last week I closed this topic with a question as to who might have more to relate . Enough material has turned up for a number two blog of strange happenings.

Just yesterday came a phone call from Florida that provided fodder for today's writing but first let me explain something that forecast this happening.

Every morning in the newspaper, beside my crossword puzzle, there appears a column of horoscope readings. Some people believe them religiously.

About a month ago one said that thinking of long ago happenings, jobs, friends and other stuff would bring along a surprise telephone call from someone only vaguely remembered from the past.

Guess I don't have to tell you what I am about to relate now.

From St. Petersburg, as I answered the phone, I heard "I was browsing around the Internet and I saw a comment on a picture page about Randy Trabold. I recognized your name and thought 'hey, he's still alive' and decided to find out if you were."

And then : "Are you the Charlie that ran a rock shop on Park Street in Adams and worked for The Transcript?"

Of course my answer was yes and then for more than half an hour I listened to a fellow named Steve relating how as a youngster now 59, he spent all his allowance money buying crystals from Grandma Shasta who really ran the rock shop. I gradually began to recall who he was but not what he looked like.

He went on to tell me that he later also worked for The Transcript and still had some good friends there. "How is Ron? he asked and was taken aback to hear from me that Ron, a Parkinson's Disease patient, has passed away.

Steve related things I did not know about the paper's ownership. The owners (now deceased), he said, who had sold the newspaper to a conglomerate which they felt ruined the paper, tried desperately to buy the firm back and restore it but failed.

He was dismayed to learn of the passing of others he knew and then suddenly told me that the son of one of the former owners, Robert Jr., was an employee of The Boston Globe.

Steve plans further communication with me, closing with the fact he still knows folks I know in the Northern Berkshire Mineral Club. BTW Steve says he is a computer geek now.

Another of the "Strange Happenings" bit, several instances in fact, came along from daughter Yarntangler, a nomad with husband Geezerguy and canine friend Clancy in a motorhome currently parked in Kanab, Utah, where they are working as camp hosts, storytellers, gift shop employees , tour guides and researchers. People like them are called WorkKampers.

A visiting couple got into conversation with Yarntangler, who has a bit of my reporterial genes in her. She elicited the information they once lived in Ferndale, Washington, where she lived and the male half of the duo often helped their son, Skooba, work on his hot rod.

Next she learned the couple now live in Canada , "in a little town in Ontario." Next question: "Ever heard of Bancroft?" Quite surprised, the duo together exclaimed "that's where we live!"

At this point I must explain, I'm putting words into all their mouths for the purpose of this blog but of course I was not there for the conversations.

Yarntangler wrote the e-mail addresses for she and Geezerguy and for me after then asking the folks if they knew Hing and Winnie, friends we all had met thirty or forty or so years ago while rockhunting in Bancroft, the self-proclaimed rockhound capital of Canada.

"Oh, yes, we know them, they still have a rock shop there." The folks took the e-mail addresses back to Bancroft and I have already heard from Winnie and Hing.

Now here's the stunning windup of the Yarntangler-Canuck duo meeting.
The conversation disclosed that Mr. (name not disclosed by Yarntangler)
went to school in Massachusetts with Yarntangler's MOTHER, Grandma Shasta !

Before this "Strange Happenings" series came to mind, one of the blogs written perhaps last year related the strange tale of the travels of "Mrs. Mike." It's too long to repeat here, but I might later. If you scroll back through "older posts" you'll find it.

There will be, no doubt, a third installment before long of "Strange Happenings" because I have found some scribblings on the desk about who I met in England once, (my fourth grade teacher) something about Niagara Falls and an ammonia leak in the travel trailer and --- this one bothers me --- a note that says, "2:30 am, I'm writing in the dark, but do a blog about Boy Scouts."

That brings to mind an experience once covering a lecture on blind people and being challenged to put on a blindfold while making notes and having the newsaper (by prior unknown arrangement) publish verbatim the story done in the dark.

- 30 -

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Reducing Greenery . . .

. . . To Clinking Coin

(Hobbs, New Mexico. 9/7/10, in the shade 101*)

Yesterday afternoon about 3:30 I heard Lady B say "let's go to the fair."

I quickly checked my wallet to determine the funds therein and agreed since there was a good bit of greenery contained among the ids and business cards.

We arrived at the fairgronds in Lovington and thoughtfully parked near a street entrance, remembering a past experience when it was nigh on impossible to get out of the place as the fair ended and attendees clogged all entrances of the parking lot.

Admission was $5 each. Had we arrived before 3 p. m. we'd have gotten in free but anyway this fee included the rodeo and a concert by a "well known" singing artist whom I've never heard of before.

Lady B was most interested in hearing the oldtime fiddlers jamboree (her dad was a fiddler) session at 5 p. m. so after a few wanderings around the grounds during which we bought and consumed a funnel cake, six bucks, we sat in the Yucca building for the jamboree.

Heard a few fiddles tune up and then for 45 minutes watched a group set up mikes, amps, stools, wires and lights, (all of which I thought could have been put in place hours earlier). We could have been visiting other fair attractions.during tha wait.

We heard some nice music, of course but realized about 7:30, we had missed the first half hour of the rodeo. We made our way to the arena and found many thousands of people crowding the bleachers.

Seeing no readily accessible seating, we just grabbed the first available spots in the lowest range of the bleachers and sat, eating double size hamburgers just purchased in the food alley, ten bucks.

My lack of good eyesight diminished my enjoyment of the rodeo events, coupled with the fact that for at least three quarters of an hour, the action took place behind a large pole just in front of me and which several times was the spot where a number of men gathered to chat and smoke while leaning argainst the pole and an adjacent fence.

But I did have a bit of unexpected amusement before we found a few higher up seats. Because of the extreme crowded condditions a lady took up a position near me, standing and leaning on the opposite side of a chain link fence.

In her hand was a gadget with a keypad and a screen that displayed words I could read from where I sat. I saw first "hi" and then "where you? and next "room 26."

Somebody passing by jostled the lady and I missed a message or two I guess but then saw "shall I come ?" and "sure" and "which motel? I must assume I was privy to a conversation between two women, maybe one of whom had just arrived from out of town and was registered at a motel on the highway, or . . . oh, well, there was action in the arena and when I next looked back, the lady at the fence was gone.

Lady B and I saw out the rest of the rodeo, changing seats to higher bleachers several times, and squirming constantly on the hard, ribbed, steel seats.

We were late then for the concert but followed the mob out to the concert area where we found, that even with tickets marked with our seat rows and numbers, we were maybe three hundred feet from the concert area with a few thousand fans pressed together ahead of us.

Shaking our heads in a "no way" fashion and commenting to each other "doesn't sound like we'd enjoy that screeching anyway" we turned into the food alley again to leave when Lady B murmured she would like something to drink.

We settled for plastic glasses of lemonade at three bucks a throw ---lemonade? --- actually three quarters of a glass of ice and SOME lemonade.

With glasses in hand and our backs aching, we found our way to the Toyota Matrix, by which time the lemonade was gone.

Lady B took to the wheel of the Toyota (I don't drive at night anymore) and made like a New York taxi driver, squeezing out of the parking lot and between two threatening pickups in the oncoming traffic in a flat minute or two! An eye-closing moment.

Had a good night's sleep 'til about nine this morning. Then went dfowntown to the Farmer's Market, got two pounds of green string beans, four dollars, just about as the place was ready to close .

As I walked away I heard the farmer say to someone in his booth, "time to close up. She could have had the whole bag (looked like another five pounds) for five bucks."

This weekend in Hobbs is the annual "Hobbs August NITES" festival but there were a few activities going on, mainly the food booths and some of the craft tables. Tired, we sat in a tent's shade for a bit of relaxation and listened to a band playing gospel music before heading for home.

Casey's in the Mini Mall, best hambuger joint in the city, was on our walking route back to the car and since lunch was on our mind, we made a stop there.

Casey's was mobbed as the last my wallet's greenery parted company with me, ten bucks for lunch, plus change and that's where the COIN in my headline above comes in, the 92 cents in the final bill had to be coin!

This afternoon another blog came up suddenly on the phone, prompting another "Strange Happenings" blog.

I'm on a roll but I'll make it a separate blog, maybe later tonight but maybe tomorrow.

- 30 -

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Holy Communion . . .

. . . And Horse Manure

What a combination !

In the dim recesses of an aging mind, there are stories that pop up in the middle of a sound sleep and this one that broke through this morning's sound doze is an odorous one.

There's a cast of characters to be introduced, all of whom but me are now deceased. First is Father Michael J. O'Reilly, the pastor of the now-disbanded Immaculate Conception Church in Taunton, Massachusetts, my old hometown.

Next comes Dick and Jim Powers, owners of Powers Riding School and Stables and their sister, May Powers, a local school teacher. My mother, Annie, was in the lineup too.

And then there were bunches of church parishioners. The cast winds up with me, a faithful altarboy of about nine or ten years of age.

It was Sunday morning. I overslept and was late for my daily job of the time, mucking out the stalls occupied by the steeds used by Dick and Jim as they gave riding lessons to the city's debutantes every Sunday.

I threw on my work clothes and my grubby boots and headed out the backyard of my 5 Pleadwell Street home to the stables across the back lots.
I got to work fast with my shovel and wheelbarrow but soon found the horses must have had a big feed the day before and had deposited much more . . . er . . . stuff . . . than I usually had to shovel on a Sunday morning.

I knew I had to work fast but I wasn't fast enough. Mother phoned to May and asked her to have Dick tell me I had to get to church for the nine o'clock Mass and it was getting late.

I was just about finished when Dick told me what time it was.

Church time was in six minutes and the church was a quarter mile away.

No time to run home and change clothes. I ran and puffed all the way to Alger Street and ducked into the vestry, pulling on my black cassock and white surplice just as Father O'Reilly was heading out to the altar.

He waited a few seconds and the Mass commenced. Father O'Reilly glanced at me a couple of times as I recited my Latin responses and then it came time for the Consecration and Holy Communion.

I dutifully took my place beside the priest, holding the Communion plate under the chins of the Host recipients, noting funny glances by everyone as we served at the Communion rail.

Father O'Reilly was a jolly old Irishman. Communion services over, he exhibited unusual grinning smiles as he performed his other priestly duties before time for his sermon.

Sermon time began differently then on other Sundays

Father O'Reilly solemnly announced "Before I begin I would like to tell you that next week we will be making a small change as we transfer our altarboy here - - - pointing directly at me --- to the ten o'clock Mass so he will have time to change his manure job clothes before arriving at church."

"And now, today's lesson . . . well, I guess we've had enough for today. God Bless Us All."

- 30 -

Monday, July 26, 2010

Strange Happenings

Quarters from Heaven?

I recall a song from long ago which I think was called "Pennies From Heaven."

This morning that song popped into my mind when I found a quarter. It is interesting where I found it - in the gutter.

Sure, you say, what's so unusual about that? Somebody's walking along by the house and pulls his handkerchief from his pocket, the quarter comes out too and he doesn't notice it drop into the gutter.

I was up this morning on the extension ladder cleaning the gutter - the RAIN gutter and lo - a quarter. The economy over the years has gone up quite a bit since pennies came from Heaven - thus QUARTERS.

YES, it was an unusual find but I have a good explanation for it. No doubt one of the roofers patching a leak in that 9-inch deluge on Saturday three weeks ago, pulled his handerchief from his pocket to dry his face and out came the quarter.


Just about the time I finished cleaning out the rain gutter, Lady B finished up fixing some wonderful cheese-flavored scalloped potatoes and announced dinner was ready.

"l'll leave it on your chair on the patio while I get your milk," she announced. So I climbed down from the roof and flopped down in my chair and found - a plastic bag of dog biscuits! It was an amusing, albeit puzzling moment.

Seconds later, Lady B emerged with my glass of milk, reached to the nearby table and placed my scalloped potatoes on the wide arm of my Highwayman-made Adirondack lawn chair. The dog biscuits had been there all the time - I just came to dinner too early.

BTW, the moniker Highwayman belongs to a son who lives about eight miles north of me. He's hobbying in woodworking and doing pretty nice things in his workshop.


Here's a funny one that falls into the strange things category. I don't think I wrote about this before but apologies if I did.

One early morning I was sitting in the shade of the pine trees on the busy side of the house where there's lots of traffic going to and from the junior high school down the road.

Often students and teachers heading for the school just a few blocks south are nearly late for school and speeding. A local policeman makes a habit of watching for them while parked on the side street in front of my house.

A nice looking car driven by an middle-aged woman suddenly was persuaded to stop just across the street from where I was sitting with my coffee.

The young and new policeman approached the car, politely asked for the lady's ID which she pro-offered, at which time the officer informed her of the existing speed limit.

Admitting that yes, she was going a little fast because she was late for school where she is a teacher, suddenly said rather loudly enough for me to hear "aren't you ______who was in my class a few years ago?"

Continuing writing a ticket, the officer, said "yes, maam, I am. I was one of the ones you kept after school so often."

There was some more conversation in tones I could not hear but as the ticket was handed to the teacher I heard " Here you are, I guess this is payback day Mrs.______."


If you ever travel up into Canada on a vacation, and manage to find your way into New Brunswick, you can experience a strange happening in a place called Moncton.

If you don't find it on your Canadian road map, ask someone to direct you to Magnetic Hill.

At the bottom of a rise in the road with that name, turn off the motor of your car and experience a ghostly ride to the top of the hill, pulled up by magnetic force.

Don't ask me how that happens, nobody ever explained it to me but I experienced it with my young kids once on a rockhounding trip and am still mystified by the happening.

Strange things happen to lots of people. Maybe someone will blog back at me with THEIR happenings.

- Old Newsie

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Senior Discount ? . . .

" You Don't Look Old . . .

(Drop head: " Ain't it a treat to get a compliment?)

Lately I've been wondering how some people judge other people's ages.

Thinking back over a number of incidents and conversations, I have determined that looks, the sound of one's voice, what he or she wears (or maybe doesn't) mannerisms and what he or she uses or drives has a lot to do with age judging.

Lady B and I often eat at Furr's here in our city and payment is rendered at a cashier's booth after we eat. Without fail and no matter who the cashier is or whether he or she knows us, we get an automatic senior citizen discount. We just look old.

Sometimes I get a great compliment. Take for instance the time I stopped at Ma Brown's in town for a couple takeout hamburgers. When it came time to pay, I questioned a seemingly high cost, glancing at a counter sign that says "ten per cent discount to seniors."

I think I was about 85 at the time. The elderly lady who'd filled my order and saw me glance at the sign questioned "oh, are you eligible?" Don't you think THAT made my day?

Geezerguy, who's Yarntangler's mate, tooled around for a couple of years a while back in my old 1979 Datsun which I had provided him for their interim transportation at times when they unhitched it from behind behind their motorhome in which they toured the western states.

He has a long white beard. My Datsun had a army veteran's number plate on the tail end. When it was parked in a rest stop or a campground, that plate often had just the opposite of my encounter at Ma Brown's.

Someone once shuffled up to him and said " I guess you were in World War Two," then asking "were you in combat?" No wonder the youngster now feels like an old man!

By the way, that 1979 Datsun has ended its days, towed away last year to the crusher after valiantly serving for over a half-million miles.

It had a final confrontation, BTW, with the New Mexico motor vehicle department. In the last year of registration, the MVD objected to my rendition of "current odometer" reading of 13,586 miles. I explained the gauge had turned over from its previous mileage during the prior registration year.

"What was the mileage before it turned over?" was the question and my answer of 499,999 miles was not believed but another clerk, who in past years remembered that old Datsun, verified the mileage from prior records. My insurance company also had questioned the mileage.


Would you believe that President Obama makes less each year than the chief adinistrator of a small town in California?

Well, it's so and two other top officials in Bell are / were getting big bucks as well. But no more.

The people have spoken, lots of them, calling for the firing of the three and the recall of most of the city council members!

The top man was getting $787,837 a year and the next two $378,288 and $457,000. Under pressure from a populace figuring this was downright outrageous the three resigned. Now the people are aiming at the yearly retirement pensions of the three, $640,000, $411,000 and $250,000.

With the resignations accepted, the townspeole turned their eyes on the council, with hundreds yelling "recall, recall." Four of the council are paid nearly $100,000 for part time work. I'd love to have a part time job in Bell!

Most of you know I have eye problems, glaucoma as well as macular degeneration. Treatment is eyedrops three times a day but there's a problem with that as well.

I can't see the spouts of the tiny bottles of stuff ($142 every month) well enough to aim into my eyes (I miss three out of five times) so I lay on my bed and Lady B administers the drops.

At this point, Lady B has supervison, not from a doctor or nurse but from Pinky, our fair-haired Chihuahua. When it appears time, Pinky hops on the bed and onto my chest to watch the eyedrop procedure.

Someime back Firefighter Mike from Tennessee, visiting here, noted that the boughs from a number of tall pines were laying on or near the roof of the house and in proper fire safety advice, noted they should be cut back.

Last week the Eight Clouds from San Antonio visited us. Big Cloudy, daddy in the group, climbed atop the house and with a black bow saw, trimmed all the offending limbs and hauled them into the back alley for the trash man to collect.

I intended to saw the limbs later to fit in the dumpster but the next morning Eddie arrived with Goliath,the monster collection truck. Eddie, seeing the piles, shook his head as he told us "I don't know about all this," not knowing I intended to saw all the limbs.

However, Eddie is a nice Joe to all the old folks. He loaded all the limbs into Goliath and they were summarily crushed . Big Cloudy, referring to something I'd earlier told him about Eddie, commented "Guess a cuppa hot coffee or a can of soda whenever he comes along, never hurts, does it."

Sometimes when Goliath and Eddie arrive early in the morning and I haven't heard him, Goliath seems to make a lot of extra noise banging the dumpster until I turn up with the coffee.

Back up a day to the limb cutting. The four Cloud girls in the family, just had to know their dad had done a good job so up the ladder they went, one by one, to the rooftop to inspect and approve the work that Big Cloudy accomplished.

Back to wondering - I've just read in the newspaper that up in Marysville, Montana, where in the 1880s the Drumlummon Mine produced millions in gold and silver, a re-opening is planned because a new vein has been discoverd which may be even richer than the yield way back then. I am wondering - should I head up thataway? The new find is called the CHARLIE vein.

- 30 -

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mary, Mary . . .

. . . How Could You ?

Recently a lady I know quite well (I'm calling her Mary to conceal her real identity) had a very embarassing incident while she was shopping in Sam's, a big place in Albuquerque where one can buy pretty much anything.

Embarrassing to her but to me, prety dawgone funny and I think you'll laugh with me once you read this yarn!

Up and down the many aisles Mary went, tossing in items she needed for a next few days' meals until in one aisle she stopped to read the instructions on some box of something (not very many women, in my mind, read instructions).

While she was reading, another customer may have moved Mary's shopping basket a bit in order to reach an item she wanted to purchase or maybe Mary forgot where her cart was parked.

Anyway, the other lady moved away from her basket, Mary stopped reading, turned quickly and took off with a basket of groceries. Aisles later Mary put a couple more things in the cart and then looked again, noting items she didn 't remember buying.

Continuing along, she pondered again "why did I put those things in the cart?" And then: "Oh Lord, this is not my basket."

She rushed back to the last aisle where she remembered reading those instructions, found her cart there, transfered the couple of items she had picked up into her own basket which was still there, and took off, leaving the other half -filled cart which she recognized as belonging to the other shopper.

If the other lady was still in the same aisle, Mary did not stop to ascertain. Mary is still wondering what the other shopper must have been thinking if she had returned to her basket and had not found it.

Mary, why aren't you laughing?

- 30 -

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gas For The Trail

"Get It Yourself Randy"

Way back when I was a reporter in North Adams, Massachusetts, I often worked with Speed Graphic photographer Randy Trabold, of whom you've read before in this blog.

Unlike much news these days, our news stories got on the spot personal coverage, and were not just reports issued as "press releases" from police or fire departments and other official agencies.

Oftentimes now in my sunset years, memories pop into my head at the most unusual times, mainly while I'm in a deep sleep about 3 in the morning.

It happened once again this week. From some dark recess came up the name "Steve Patryn." Then the story behind the name filtered through the
murky ancient files of my brain.

Patryn was a younger man who ran a gasoline and service station in North Adams. His place was a daytime and evening business, probably a 7 to 7 o'clock operation, where Steve worked hard and fast with little time for lunch breaks.

Randy was one of his customers with his trusty Jeep always needing gasoline, oil, and other servicing. Steve appreciated that business because Randy was a guy who traveled around day and night taking photos for the NORTH ADAMS TRANSCRIPT and THE ASSOCIATED PRESS .

For years Steve put up with Randy's procrastination at the end of Steve's business day - Randy's failure to stop by before closing time to fill up the Jeep's tank for his inevitable nocturnal treks around Berkshire County.

I often was companion to Randy on his nighttime moves to accidents and fires. I'd get a phone call from him which tersely reported "fire, Savoy, meet me on 116" or "accident, Dead Man's Curve, I'll be waiting at the office," meaning "get the heck up here fast."

Well, came this one night Randy happened to be in Adams when the police up north radioed him of a tanker truck that had overturned and rolled down the mountainside at Dead Man's Curce.

That's on the famous Mohawk Trail leading east out of North Adams toward Greenfield over a mountainous road.

(Maybe in the distant past you've seen his Wintertime photos from the trail - published nationwide by the AP but particularly in Florida - of snowdrifts around the roadside sign FLORIDA, the mountaintop town next to North Adams.)

Randy picked me up at my Adams home and we headed out. But just before hitting the trail I glanced at his dashboard and said "you're almost out of gas."

It was nearly midnight. The accident was nine miles out of town. All the gas stations were closed.

Randy radioed the city police, asked them to call Steve to come down and open his station and fill the Jeep's tank. Steve came, as was his usual late night response a few times every week.

This time Steve was teed off, real mad, muttering something like "this can't go on" - but maybe not in the nicest language, as he pumped the gas.

Tank all filled, Randy's gunning the motor, ready to fly off when Steve hollers "hey you hold on!" and handing Randy a key he shouts "I close at 7. From now on use the key and pump your own d---- gas."

Glad Randy had that key. There were a few nights I also was heading for the trail and needed gas. Steve's place was a lifesaver. We were honest -always left Steve a note on what we pumped and paid him at the end of the week.

Being that it was some 30 years ago, I guess Steve has retired by now.

- 30 -

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Milk Jug Ice

While washing the dishes the other morning I noticed an expired gallon milk jug among the soiled dishes, filled with water.

For some reason my intelligence went out the window about that time after asking Lady B what was the jug of water for and learning she was going to make ice for a Fourth of July batch of ice cream.

"Why not just use ice cubes from our freezer?" I inquired getting the answer "I'm going to freeze the gallon bottle for the ice cream freezer and have all the ice I need."

"Well, how will you get the ice out of the jug through that little neck?" was the next thing out of my mouth.

The minute I uttered that, I knew I'd blown the conversation sky high as I got "the stare" over the top of Lady B's glasses.

After a few seconds she calmy informed me "I'm going to use that razor blade and cut off the top of the jug and make a square of ice."

I guess I'd better not try to expand this blog - it sounds stupid enough as it is.

- 30 -

Monday, June 21, 2010

Something Unexpected

Flag Respect

Just in time for Flag Day a week ago, I got up a second flagpole on our corner property.

For several years the United States flag has flown in front of the house but I felt it would be nice to have one flying at the side of the house, actually on a very busy street. The other flag flies on a side street.

So on Flag Day, my new flag unfurled in the breeze for all who passed to see. It flew five days until something unusual happened, an event which I felt was an expression of patriotism.

As I stood at the kitchen window I saw a young man with a backpack sauntering down the street. I thought at first he was a student going to the junior high down the road but then realized school is out for the Summer.

As the man saw the flag he doffed his ball cap and momentarily held it at his chest. He did not see me in the window. In that brief moment I felt a tear forming at the man's brief action - one I took as a salute to the flag.

This passerby did not appear old enough to have already been in the service but in thinking later about his salute and telling of it to Lady B, it came to our minds this young man was . . . .

Possibly remembering a father who may have been a serviceman, or a bigger brother who at this moment is a fighting soldier somewhere beyond our country's shores.

But wait - this young man may just be saluting his country's flag because he respects his country and its flag. I like to think his gesture was for any one - or all - of those reasons. As a veteran his action made me feel proud of his support.

- 30 -

Saturday, June 19, 2010



A tenant in one of our former rental properties, now an Easterner, popped in on our e-mail page a couple days ago and noted she'd been following Old Newsie's blog but hadn't seen an entry for a while.

Sure enough, I found it's been since early April that I last wrote. You can blame this on a number of things: a bit of laziness; a lack of time due to doctor visits; traveling here and there; eye trouble again; busy helping a son fixing a few things; computer problems; and honey-dos.

That former tenant, once a professor of English at one of our local colleges, moved over to Georgia and then to Tennessee and in the process of preparing for a doctorate, apparently got just too tangled in studies that she dropped out of the blog and e-mail circuit as well - for a few years!

We'll be welcoming her back in this area this Summer perhaps as she visits old friends and does some sight-seeing.

That said, now we'll try to get back into the blogging act again, depending on how much we find to chat about. Today, it's been a day of good news -
the temperature cooled down to 100 degrees after about 10 days in which the thermometer, in the shade on the patio, got up as high as 111 degrees.

So what's the latest news? Old Newsie and Lady B, despite failing eyes at reading the little print on the motor vehicle department's eye-testing machine, DID get licenses renewed for another year.

An optimistic note: For years the MVD renewed my handicapped parking permit a year at a time. This year as I became 87, the MVD made it official - I MUST LIVE at least another FOUR years because this time, the permit is a four-year privilege.

Classy Broad, my younger daughter up in Washington state returned a couple days ago from Walter Reed Army Hospital after this year's testing of her new kidney.

She needs a few prayers for correction of a low blood flow to that kidney and for a good report on a biopsy taken for a possible melanoma outbreak.

Appleman, my California son, has taken up a new residence in San Jose after a spell in Saratoga.

Yarntangler, who is Workcamping in Kanab, Utah, is busy with her husband Geezerguy, and traveling friend, Chris, transforming a bit of red dirt desert into a lush green garden, complete with all sort of junque picked up at yard sales and planted for the next campers who'll occupy their spots.

Back here in Lea County, my other son whom I'll call Highwayman, is busy spending his days with the county road department, in this hundred degree weather, chip- sealing some of the rural roads - and do you know how HOT chipsealing with boiling tar can be? Better he than me!

Well, that's enough yakking for a blog comeback for now; maybe I'll be back another day soon.

- 30 -

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Wind Doth Blow . . .

. . . And Dust Plays Tricks

In this southwest area, as in most of the West, the wind is unpredictable although experts do their best at scientific guessing.

This morning the weather folks were pretty much on target. There was slight wind with heavy gusts and during the day things did get pretty hairy - make that dusty.

Over a few blocks from home, my medical prescriptions for my eyes were ready for pickup at the drug store so I drove those few blocks and found driving to be rather fuzzy - make that dusty.

I am most or less used to that fuzzy - make that dusty - driving and thought little about it until I got into the mall parking lot where the asphalt seemed to have turned to dust in a fierce gust.

Nearly lost my cap and my sweater to the wind as I wabbled a few car lengths to the door of Walgreen's where I figured I'd be standing in line for maybe 20 minutes waiting to reach the counter and get my presecriptions.

Well, I got a surprise - only one lady ahead of me at the prescription counter and she was leaving. No waiting line. Now, another surprise!

"Good morning Mr. Hoye," -(they are quite friendly in Walgreen's and the pharmacists have good memories) - said Brittany as she plucked a Kleenex for a convenient box and handed it to me.

"Here, clean your glasses, it's pretty dusty out there, isn't it?" she added.
(Do you see why I say they are quite friendly in Walgreen's?) I cleaned the glasses and then recognized the young lady who'd handed me the Kleenex. By golly, they were dirty - make that dusty.

Wind in the southwest is always a BIG topic of conversation. particularly about this time of the year and again in August and September, because here - meaning West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona - the topic is fire danger and sometimes- especially along I-10 in Arizona - accidents and sandstorms.

A lot of folks believe these areas are strictly desert but that's not so. We have large towns and cities, greenbelts, parks, big shopping malls and many tall bildings although not like San Francisco or New York City.

Wind in these parts is damaging. We more or less tolerate breezes up to about 40 miles an hour but higher then that becomes danger and much of the time we can count on 50 and higher sustained winds and higher gusts.

The wind we have does sometimes tear up roofs, moves little buildings, shattering them sometimes and when it gets behind the lighted cigarette butt sent flying out a vehicle window by an uncaring driver, the wind races flames for miles in minutes, calling out fire departments en mass.

On New Year's Day a few years back, such an out of control fire on racing winds traveled 15 miles from an uninhabited prairie directly into the city of Hobbs, destroying 11 homes, three businesses, nearly a dozen vehicles and a few farmers' barns and their hay supplies and machinery.

In succeeding Springs such fires have destroyed 100,000 acres of farmland and crops in one area, 80,000 in another. We wish unthinking smokers - for all the fires have been blamed on tossed cigarettes - would take heed of the warnings.

In Arizona on Interstate 10, signs proclaim areas where sandstorms can exist and exist they do, forming sometimes within minutes.

There have been in my memory a half dozen accidents in such storms in which a dozen or more vehicles have piled up, with many fatalities.

Fortunately, driving from my house to Walgreen's doesn't mean I'd be facing a savage dust storm but then again - with our wind . . .

Thanks, Brittany, for that tissue, I see more clearly right now!

- 30 -

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pioneers, Postal Agents . . .

. . . Gave Names to Our Nation

This yarn will sound familiar to some readers, I know, but others may enjoy it. I wrote this five years ago in my little magazine The Bay Stater.

There are many stories, some true, some fiction, about the origin of the names borne by cities, towns, villages, counties and hamlets throughout the United States.

When the country had its beginnings many names came from the old countries, from the places left by the newcomers to America.

When the Western part of our country was opening up, pioneers, those eager for more new beginnings, traveling from the East, planted their own names, or old country names in the West.

A man named Hobbs, started a post office in the place I now call home, listing his own name as the name of the post office and thus of the town.

Many other pioneers did the same. Some put down names of their sons or daughters as town and post office names.

And then came post office inspectors or agents. They were charged with giving names to settlements not yet named or sometimes changing existing names when they found duplications.

From hearsay I have collected some samples and other names are from my imagination. Here's a few names to ponder over.

Who would ever label a place in western Texas "Rattlesnke Knob?" Most likely someone who lived there. That place still exists. There's a gas station there. It's just outside of Hobbs.

The postal inspector stopped in one place and found a settler who said the place was just there, no name. He asked the settler to suggest a name and the man thought about it, finally saying - well, man, and the inspector says that's a good one, Wellman, Texas, it is.

The next place he visited had a number of buildings where workers were busy weaving ropes. That's how Ropesville, Texas, got its post office identification.

Just down the road apiece the agent found a few houses, no name signs, but a lot of cows grazing in a meadow and Meadow, Texas, was born that day wihout asking anybody.

You can figure out the clues that helped to name Needmore, Halfway. and Happy.

One very hot day along the Texas and New Mexico border he found a shade tree and an unnamed post office which promptly became, Shadetree, Texas. The tree is gone now, the post office and the town, too.

While he was there he fathomed up a brilliant idea to save himself a lot of time and travel. Using the rough map he had that designated places without names, he saw a number of schoolgirls and asked their names.

Thus came these Texas town names, Alma, Alice, Gail, Patricia, Vera and Lolita.

And when he got into New Mexico, he met a little girl and asked her for drink of water. She got it from the pump near her house and gave it to him. When he smiled and thanked her, she said "you nice," and that's how Eunice came to be just south of Hobbs.

Now, I can't take the credit for these two places even though we've been in both spots - Bernice, Louisiana, and Charlie, Texas. The first has a museum in the abandoned railroad station. The one in Texas is a cemetery.

- 30 -


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Scary Story . . .

. . . On A Stormy Day

The heavy snow had ceased and turned to rain and then it cleared a bit but left the road wet.

Halfway from Seminole to Hobbs the fast lane of a four-lane divided highway was drier than the inside lane and 60 miles an hour was safely achievable.

Then the inside lane appeared dry so Lady B eased the air force blue Toyota Matrix into that lane. Just in time was that maneuver.

Suddenly a blurring white moving object came into view. A white pickup truck was rolling over and over from the eastbound lane through the median directly into the westbound lane.

In a flash it was laying on its side, partially into the fast lane and about 60 feet from the Toyota which a very alert Lady B had halted swiftly. A bloody head could be seen in a window frame.

Trusty cell phone in hand and already pushing the 911 button I alighted and ran to the rolled-over vehicle meanwhile talking to the Seminole dispatcher, asking for police and an ambulance.

Lady B. eased her car to a safe place at roadside and waited inside.
Another driver had hoped from his eastbound pickup and also had called for an ambulance.

I reached the young man at the window of the wreck who was desperately trying to climb out and told him to stay and wait for the medics who already were en route. Stephen had a serious looking gash on his head, said he was allright "but get an ambulance for my dad."

His dad was not visible to me but minutes later a strong-looking fellow with an oilfield company hat, crawled into a small opening at the truck's rear and found the father who said his shoulder was broken, and gently removed him to the median.

The younger man found his way out through a hole in the side of truck and crawled into view, streaming precious blood just as the Seminole ambulance pulled up.

Being first on the scene, I could only tell a sheriff's deputy of seeing the truck rolling but not how the accident came about.

After giving that meager information, I went to the Toyota and found Lady B. praying for the two men who appeared badly hurt.

We left, thanking God we had not been in that fast lane, were not traveling too fast although the speed limit is 70, and we were not in the blinding snowstorm we had experienced early on our trip.

But that was not all. Just a few miles further toward Hobbs and we came upon another rollover accident, an eighteen-wheeler layng on its side also partly into the fast lane. Sheriff's deputies were already there. We were guided through wreckage slowly and continued on our way.

That was on Monday after a visit to my eye doctor and on the first day of our intended trip to Fort Worth. It had been raining heavily all night in Lubbock where we had spent the night in a motel.

When we left the doctor's office about 12:30 Texas time, it was snowing.
We had a bad feeling about a trip to Fort Worth. We left and traveled through a few streets which were flooded a foot deep.

The more we traveled the deeper the water seemed. We stopped to fill the gas tank and talked to a convenience store operator who advised the storm was worse in the Fort Worth direction.

Reluctantly we aborted the trip and headed home, running into a blizzard en route, then heavy rain again, eventually a bit of clearing and then those accidents.

Yes, a scary day. At our ages we felt our intuition was the best to follow, not wanting to be victims of any storm-caused accidents as we later saw en route home.

And here's a little hint you may not already know about. In that blizzard we remembered someone had once suggested that in heavy rain, if you put on your sunglasses, you can see through the storm much better.

We'd not had the occasion to try that hint before but now we highly recommend it to you readers. It really works when the snow is coming directly at you!

And about cell phones - they are mighty handy when you need to get help for someone in a hurry. This was the first time I had used one in an accident scenario. Be sure they are charged.

- 30 -

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tips for the USPS . . .

. . . On Money Saving, Health

Dear Mr. Postmaster General:

I thought you might like to hear from a poor guy who's getting poorer all the time, with a few suggestions your outfit might embrace as a means of starting a government-wide saving program.

Being a guy up in the Medicare bracket and in a state where I'm aching and paining a lot, having trouble walking and so on, I do have a few ideas
to save a few bucks.

I realize what I have to say will mean only a drop in the bucket, but listen anyway, please.


A few years back your predecessor, think faster service in mail delivery, covinced everyone that using trucks or jeeps on mail routes would get carriers faster to destinations.

I don't think this has worked. Nowadays, trucks and jeeps cost a lot more money than they once did and that's costing taxpayers a lot of moola.

And that's not to mention the price of gasoline these days. I have seen mail carriers going from house to house, getting out of the trucks at each house, leaving the engine runnning, and then going only a few yeards to the next; stop and doing the same thing.


The truck method of delivering mail doesn't do much for the health of carriers either. Many of the carriers I have seen on my route are obese - fat- if you don't know the meaning of obese. In some cases the extra weight may not be the fault of using a truck instead of walking but instead a medical reason, so I don't paint all carriers with the same brush!

However, I feel that walking along the sidewalks and up homes would be a great benefit to carriers. Exercise would keep them in tip top shape and healthy. If they walked their routes they would make friends with the people they serve, even get cake or cookies along the route, a cup of coffee in the winter or soda in the summer and would know who gets what mail.


No mail carrier in a truck is immune from accidents and injury. Granted, they are trained drivers before being allowed to ride a mail truck, but it is the other driver that might hurt one of your employees.

Mail trucks are bulky boxes and hard for other drivers to see around or beyond, sometimes causing the other drivers to take chances that could hurt someone as they try to get ahead of a mail truck, or around a parked USPS truck.


Those trucks have to be maintained continually to keep them operating properly and efficiently, and don't forget the maintenance costs for labor and parts. If trucks were to be eliminated there would then be a big savings in maintenance as well.

I suppose I could go on ranting about costs and methods of saving, but I guess my one voice wouldn't carry any weight, so I may as well quit now.

Thanks for reading this far. Maybe I've lit a little fire and maybe you might agree with me. If so, pass it all along and let's start saving the taxpayers some money, put the carriers on the streets to walk and make them healthier, thus saving them money by not having to see doctors and take expensive medicine. Medicine - that's for another blog coming soon!


Cut out the WalMart type of selling in your postoffices, too. That costs money also, for merchandise, sales labor, equipment, signs, and so on.

Maybe some of my saving ideas would help bring down the cost of postage stamps, too, and then people might take up the use of pen and paper again and write more letters to their friends and relatives, who aren't hearing from them often enough these days. That would make you more money, while you save .

- 30 -

Snow Time in Hobbs . . .

... and it must be cleared away.

If you want your mail delivered, says the mail carrier, you've got to clear the walks - that's the rule!

Eight times it has snowed in Hobbs. Unusual for a place that seldom gets snow. This last storm left us five inches of the white stuff - the next storm might be more.

Earlier the skies dropped two inches, then three, then four, now five; that's why I say maybe more next time. But when the mailman passed by the house without bringing in the usual bills, I wondered why no mail?

"Well, you haven't cleared your sidewalk and the walk to your house" said the guy! Apparently when the snow got to five inches, it was too much for him, even though he had been able to maneuver to the house the first four storms without the walk being cleared. No boots maybe?

So with the ultimatum "shovel or else" I resurrected from my "saving stuff" my trusty [probably] 35-year-old hand-powered yellow sidewalk snowplow and cleared all the walks and my driveway to boot.

Next day all the snow was gone, the result of God's brilliant sunshiny warm day. The mailman never did see me plowing snow . . .

But there were a number of drive-by honks from folks who either slowed way down or stopped when they saw this old guy clearing snow a mile a minute as if he was used to doing it.

As a matter of fact, the old guy, me, was/is used to it. In a previous blog I think I explained that old yellow plow had seen its days, in Levittown, Pennsylvania and North Adams, Masachusetts, in deep snow and in Truth or Consequences down here in New Mexico in sand!

That old yellow plow without a battery and now with two bald tires and a rusty chain hoist [to lift the blade when backing up] cost me the astounding sum of $14 in the early '60s [for you younger blog readers that means 1960].

Sometime after I hit 100, somebody might want to buy it as an antique if it is still around. One of the kids might have appropriated it however for continued snowplowing by then if this pattern of snow continues so far down into this warm, sunny area.

There's a picture of the plow and me up top there. Don't credit me for putting it there. A geek from California, son DP, an expert at computers, dropped it in there and hopefully I will remember how he did it for a future blog.

-30 -

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Disturbing News . . .

. . . At First Glance

When I switched into the e-mail mode on my computer this morning after reading a couple of newspaper articles I was greeted with a subject line which, if I were a bank president, might have struck an omious note.

"The Mockorange Lane Gang Rides Again", I read - with visions of Jesse James and his cohorts or some other notoriuous bunch riding into town with a no-good-intent riding ahead of them.

But, Old Newsie, just relax. It seems like that new e-mail feature Facebook
(at least new to me) had led to daughter Yarntangler's finding two more of the girls with whom she as a kid played with back in Pennsylvania, residents of the same street on which this blogger's family resided.

Note I said two MORE girls. A few years back I'd already located for Yarntangler one other chum from Mockorange, so now the "gang" is four but three are non-bloggers - Gail, Sue and Rita, the latter being the gal found sometime ago, who in 1959 was Yarntangler's companion on a family trip to Yellowstone National Park.

While those are now found, I can think of a few more to be sought, Renee, Sandy and Barbara, by name and two other neighbors whose names do not come to mind.

Yarntangler's message to headquarters here says (probably) this is the start of reviving a gang of youngsters who were neighbors 50 years ago, the female side of the gang.

Now what about the male side? There's a good possibility this Facebook program will find others once these gals start tracking them down - seems like women have that knack (one I once knew did it after going to great lengths including the state department).

Some of the male teens they'll be looking for include such names as Richard. Andy, Rick and Greg. Unfortunately Greg, who became a lawyer, is deceased I was told a few years ago. Two other male "gang" members are Terry and Denis, who are already located.

Levittown in Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia, was in the 1950s a brand new post-World War II city of 17,311 homes, a place carved out of five townships and villages, mostly farmland. You bought a home there for $10,000 - yep, that's right, $10,000.

Teenagers who grew there now are scattered all over the United States I assume, maybe even round the world , having moved on to colleges after their high school days, and thence to jobs wherever they could find them.

This "gang," girls and boys thoroughly enjoyed a large swimming pool located a few blocks from Mockorange Lane (the pool in which I lost my false teeth one day) and some of them at least learned their ice skating techniques in a frozen-over drainage ditch along the base of the home section in which we resided in, Magnolia Hill.

Facebook folks and eventually this blogger, will have a lot of nostalgia to talk over once they get together online and maybe, if as already been suggested, they get together in person for a reunion.

- 30 -

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Down" Internet". . .

. . . Breaks February Streak

I tried hard yesterday, Thursday, to keep up my TIE blog streak but alas, the service that sends this out to you failed - an outage they call it.

Visiting son DP called repair service and from somewhere in Georgia , after lots of qestions and answers, was told the company would send a DSL man late Friday [today] to my house with some new equipment because testing showed I might have an internal problem as well as a possible area outage.

So much for last night's blog and a TIE badge for the month. Oh, well . . .

But while enjoying a pancake breakfast early this morning that DSL man showed up with boxes of equipmemt, some wire and his trusty line tester.

After working at least an hour or so, during which I graciously served him coffee, [didn'nt want a plate of pancakes] he felt he had found an interior problem, a missing line filter probably, as well as rather low speed in the DSL system serving my house and declared all's well.

Besides much testing he installed a new modem which includes a router and declared we were now wireless, which translates into wi-fi I understand.

Well, skip that "understand" since I really don't understand much about this whole system except some of the things I need to know to use it.

Thank goodness I took the precaution a few years back of buying into the phone company's whole house wiring program for a not too bad monthly charge; it covers repairs like this.

So OK, got to work on checking e-mail, newspapers and current news and then a blog and guess what? No Internet again. With the help of visiting son DP, we checked every connection and possible other problem and finally had to call the provider again.

This time we got a very apologetic young lady on the line announcing that the company was working diligently to repair a widespread outage and that it was guaranteed to be fixed by 2:30 am Saturday and we would be notified by phone.

Uh - 2:30 a. m. ? DP, when you hear the phone ring, you get it, OK?

We got a welcome surprise late this afternoon, however, when we tried to fire up the Internet just on a hunch and dawgone, it worked. Now I am trying to get a blog done early enough to get it out by midnight with something in wordage that might be a TIE.

Why don't I leave it right there since I've already got the word TIE in there three times and in the headline also - and for that matter, in this sentence too?

- 30 -

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kids, Lollypops . . .

. . .And a New Zealand Lady

It has taken a long stretch of my memory to come up with tonight's blog, in an effort to create another TIE story but it has come about.

This could be a short blog but I'll do my best to create a few paragraphs at least so you'll have something interesting to read.

Fast forward backwards (can I say that lady book editor?) to a time of strife in Europe, World War II. I was stationed in England with the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, and in the small hamlet of Thatcham, today a thriving place.

At a supply depot, numerous GIs, myself included, got from their moms and sweethearts back in the United States what today would be called CARE packages. These GIs quickly joined the ranks of sharers. They shared with little English kids.

Now fast forward to about three or four years ago and imagine using your computer browser at random trying to make connections with someone you knew in England.

That was me, seeking to just send a thank you message to a family that took me in as a lonely soldier, fed me, made me comfortable evenings in their home listening to the BBC and oft-times shortwave radio news from the states.

Browsing didn't turn up much until I messaged a newspaper in Newbury, near Thatcham, telling the editor I was searching for a certain family. He personally was no help other than running a brief story about the family I sought.

Weeks went by before a certain lady recognized from the newspaper item the family I was seeking. She evidently communicated with a sister living in New Zealand and they compared notes.

Suddenly from New Zealand came an-e-mail from a lady with a clue to that family which in the '40s hosted this lonely GI. Now I had a TIE - the past and the present.

But that is not the end of it. Between the lady there and the sister in New Zealand (and I hope I have my facts correct despite a little failing of memory) I was informed the old folks of the family were long gone but their was a daughter who recalled my name.

When the sister in England contacted that daughter there came a terse reply that she wanted nothing to do with the American soldier. Now, lest that raises your eyebrows a bit, let me quickly point out there was no reason for that response.

So that was that but the e-mail correspondence between this blogger and the New Zealand lady, who's about 15 years younger than me, turned up a new TIE.

Fast forward backwards again - to that army depot in Thatcham and the GIs with care packages from home. Pretty much daily during breaks, which English mothers and their tykes had timed well, several children would gather outside the gates of G-45 and GIs would feed them goodies, lollypops being a favorite

Among the small crowd of little ones was a four-year-old girl who would ride up Station Road in her pedal car. I remembered the pedal car. Not particularly the girl. Probably fed candy to the kid numerous times.

Fast forward now to the present. From New Zealand, e-mails from the lady there were frequent, with memories of England being predominent.

And then one e-mail struck a new TIE.

The New Zealander said she remembered riding her little pedal car up the road to the depot and she often got lollypops and candy from the American soldiers.

What a discovery! This American, long back home and that Britisher now in New Zealand, had met again.

Amazing what one learns from this round-the-world communication technology.

This charming lady in New Zealand and I still exchange e-mails but not much news from England any more, mostly comparisons of our "golden years," our aches, pains, sicknesses, eyes and ears problems, accidents and so on.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Two-Brother TIE

. . . Brings Joy to Both

About five-thirty this afternoon as we arrived back in Hobbs following a trip to the Lubbock International Airport. a TIE came about when CT of Hobbs and DP of Saratoga, California met again for the first time in quite a few years.

DP and CT are our sons. DP arrived at the airport just at the moment we drove into the termial, his Southwest Airlines jet passing over our Toyota Matrix low enough to drop him off on the car's roof.

Yes - Toyota Matrix. And yes, it WAS one of those affected by the recall. And yes, we've had it fixed already. Thanks for your concern.

As I waited for him at the baggage area on the right, he came in and got his baggage from the turntable at the left, went out to the curb, found Lady B and her car, loaded his luggage and then came back in to find me.

En route back to Lubbock, a nearly two hour trip, we had great conversation except Lady B was the only one hearing anything
DP had to say.

Seems like hearing aid trouble has a definite liking for me. You will recall I lost one from my right ear in the jacuzzi where it cooked in hot water five days or so.

That one was the one which controls the volume in the left ear so it was obvious I had a problem.

Then after finding it and drying it, it spasmodically worked until I lost the one from my left ear.

This second loss was not a catastrophe but an annoyance, since the right ear aid gave some hearing. The left ear aid got tangler in the maze of computer, printer, scanner and lighting wiring in the back of the computer desk.

Found it three days later after most of the house was moved about in a search. Then I found both aids did not any longer work together so to the factory they went for a re- do, fortunately at no cost because the warranty is still in effect.

So to have some kind of hearing I resurrected one of the older set I had and it worked - until we got to the airport today.

It failed and no amount of anguish would make it work and me hear. So for me in a psassenger seat, we had a fine, quiet ride to Hobbs.

Minutes ago I found among an old assortment of batteries one to fit this old left ear aid and now I can hear again and I am in the computer room with no one talking to me, both being intigued by the olympics on tv.

But back to the TIE. After a few moments, both sons expressed the need for relaxation and a nap and parted, planning to get together again later in the week after CT gets in his long days with the road department.

But there is some good news today - I sold that house we've been working on so long. We've got two brothers TIED up today and a house sale TIED up to boot.

More about the boys later probably and more about the house as well. I'm too tired to TIE myself into any more wordage tonight. Good night and sleep tight.

PS - wasn't it a nice TIE job I did last night on Susan B. Anthony and yours truly, completly forgetting the word TIE altogeher?

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Honoring A Neighbor . . .

. . . Born 190 Years Ago

Yesterday, Sunday, in Adams, Massachusetts, the birthplace home of the founder of the Women's Suffrage Movement in the late 1800s, and a leading figure in the adoption of the 19thAmendment, giving women the right to vote, became the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum.

For many years in my various writings I have often, jokingly, referred to that eminant lady as "my neighbor" but it is obvious that when she was born on February 15, 1820, we weren't neighbors.

For the time we each lived in Adams, long years apart, we merely shared Adams as "neighbors," she a native and me an itinerent worker there in the 60s and 70s.

From her home one could see mine across the valley and town and I could see her place from mine, both homes being situated on hills at nearly the same height, thus "neighbors."

Carol Crossed of Rochester, New York, president of Democrats for Life of America, an anti-abortion organization, said a member of Feminists For Life of America, an anti-abortion and feminists organization, will live in the house as director and manager of the museum.

That member is Sally Winn, an advocate for women and children who was
vice president of Feminsts for Life in Washington, D. C., and who was present Sunday with Ms.Crossed to dedicate the museum.

Eugene Michalenko, president of the Adams Historical Society, had for nearly 30 years, been advocating preservation of the Anthony birthplace as an attraction to Adams for tourists and history buffs.

Ms. Crossed bought the house for $164,000 in 2006 at an auction, after a previous couple had owned the house several years with the intention of doing something similar to the new museum but without achieving success.

During the dedication ceremony, a distant relative of Susan B. Anthony, Eric Anthony and his wife, Patricia, entertained the attendees with violin music.

By chance, the dedication the day before her birthday also happened to be the 90th anniversary of the Women's Suffrage Act, the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, the amendment which Ms. Anthony did not live to see. She died March 13, 1906.

The subsequent home of Susan B. Anthony is in Rochester, New York, coincidently Ms. Crossed' residence , and also is a city memorial. The entire Anthony family once of Adams, including Susan, is buried in a small hillside burial plot in Rochester, a site this blogger has visited and photographed.

The family includes Susan's father, Daniel. I mention this because most literature on the Anthony family, most all but Susan being Quakers, doesn't mention that he, too, was born in Adams in a house called "The Old Hive," which may NOT be the house of Susan's birth."

This makes me wonder if he was shunned by the Quakers because in a store he ran , according to other literature I have read, he sold liquor, a no-no with Quakers.

There's much more to be said and read of Susan B. Anthony than just her efforts that helped pass the 19th Amendment.

If any readers happen to find Adams, Massachusetts , [in the northwest part of the state] while traveling, a visit to the new museum will enlighten you. The museum is at 67 East Road.

A book on the lady and her life's efforts," Susan B. Anthony," by Alma Lutz, MAY be found in your local library.

A booklet, "Susan B. Anthony Birthplace As It Is Today," published in connection with the first day of issue in Adams of a six-cent Women's Suffrage postage stamp August 23, 1970 MAY [repeat - MAY] be available at the museum.

This, tonight, is my way of honoring "my neighbor."

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

How Many Words . . .

. . . Come From TIE?

This will be an experiment, perhaps very brief, but it's an idea, drawing from common sense and then from a dictionary and a few other book sources.

Take this month's theme word TIE and turn the word into as many OTHER words as possible.

Here goes and this may turn into a short blog.


It - rather obvious

Ti - a Polynesian plant

Ie - what a teacher or storyteller might say in illustrating a point; also a legal term

Ite - suffix for numerous words

Ei - part of the Old McDonald farm song

That's all my brain comes up with. Now it's your turn in the comment box down below.

The dictionary and other book sources didn't help!

Told ya'll this would be a short blog!

Go ahead now, show me up.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chip Seal, Rip Rap . . .

. . . Versus Slurry Seal

Chester Trczinski was working one very hot Summer morning years ago at the edge of curvy hillside Lime Street in Adams, Massachusetts, when I was out scouting with my Speed Graphic for some scenic pictures for the newspaper.

Chet and a road department crew had laced the edge of the curve with heavy rocks, set in place very carefully like a stone wall except forming a vee type trough and were pouring thin steaming hot oil over the rocks, letting it seep in between the cracks of the rock construction.

As a still young newspaperman, I was learning the secrets of old timers who labored in the hills building streets and roads that outlasted the harsh elements of a New England winter, the oldtime farmers' secrets of building dry walls of stone without mortar, and other ancient construction secrets.

I am going to try to TIE together the connection between the chip seal and slurry seal methods which is the topic of this blog. Bear with me.

Now don't think the spelling of Chet's last name is wrong; believe me, it is OK. He was a Polish decendant with a trade handed down from his great-grandfather, a trade Chet, now deceased, has passed along to some of the young whippersnappers who today, now as oldtimers, probably staff that road department.

"What are you doing on this curve with all the rocks and the oil?" I asked Chet, the road department superintendent, and immediately got an explanation of the building of roads in Poland.

The rocks, he said, used in the fashion I was seeing, comprise what is known as riprap, still used today in the Army Corps of Engineers in dam-building and river control.

The hot oil is slurry, Chet explained. "We heat it up real hot and pour it into the cracks between the stones and when it drys we add some more all over the rocks and then when it rains, or snow melts, the runoff goes downhill without eating away the edge of the curve."

Fast forward now 50 years to Hobbs.

One very hot August day outside my home here in Hobbs when the local street department was renewing the road past my place, I talked with one of the crew.

Using a big tank truck with many steel nozzles leading from the tank, the crew was spreading thick hot oil along the street. Then behind the tank truck came dump trucks loaded with small stones, backing up as the stones cascaded onto the hot thick oil. A street roller followed the trucks, pressing the stones into the oil.

Notice I keep saying hot thick oil whereas in Adams I just referred to the oil as thin hot oil. Up there on Lime Street the oil was very thin but still very hot and Chester Trczinski called it slurry sealing.

In Adams in the 1960s they didn't use a big tank truck for anything in road building. The oil was heated in a small square oven-type contraption on wheels, pulled behind a rickity dump truck.

The oil was heated by a fire of oak wood under the oven. When small stones were used to finish the slurry sealing job, or surface roads, it was done by hefty men pushing wheelbarrows, and heavy rollers made of steel drums filled with cement to anchor the stones in the oil.

"So this is slurry sealing to TIE the little stones together, right?" I commented, gaining a quick "naw, this is chip seal; what's slurry seal mean?"

Now I became, I think, not as the Irishman I am, but as a teacher with a Polish background, explaining what Chet long ago had taught me about how to TIE road work together.

Somehow, though, I think the guy I was talking to probably knew what the procedure was and was tolerating my "old geezer " knowledge just to please me.

Be it chip sealing in Hobbs or slurry sealing in Adams, the result is pretty much the same, good pavement that lasts a long time. And that's my construction instruction for tonight.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow In Florida ? . . .

. . . That's Unheard Of !

Is that so?

Those northern retirees who years ago fled their snowy homes in those various states usually belted with bad weather this time of the year were surprisingly made aware this morning of their TIES with New England they gazed out windows and saw -- S N O W !

Many native Floridians, as well as those in southern Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia, had never seen snow unless it was on television but now they know what the northerners were subjected to every Winter before they fled south.

Granted, the state got only three or four inches but the storm threw the unsuspecting officialdom into a tizzy - - what do we do without snowplows, studded tires, snowblowers and snow shovels?

We hear via TV that schools and businesses were closed and the panhandle was paralyzed, while the northerners living there and the snowbird tourists laughed at the officials' inability to cope with what the New Englanders say was "just a drop in the bucket."

New Mexico of course didn't escape the snow but anybody from up north realizes this state always gets some snow. Read an Internet story just an hour ago that relates every state in our 50-star union, except Hawaii, was today either covered in snow, was experiencing falling snow, or was having a dusting of the white stuff.

My trusty hand-powered snow plow - yes a plow like those used on streets, but much smaller, was put into use yesterday morning when we got three inches during the early morning hours. Teachers heading to the nearby school gaped at me as I effortlessly cleared my front walk so I could get to my newspaper box for the daily NEWS SUN.

That plow, a $14 bargain, was bought and used in the 1960s in Levittown, Pennsylvania, traveled to and was used in North Adams, Massachusetts, and moved with us to Truth or Consequenes and then Hobbs, New Mexico.

In TorC, it was used NOT for snow but for SAND, during construction of a flat area to park our RV in an expansive yard where a spot had to be carved out of a sandy hillside. That $14 item is still at the ready, although its tires and a chain need replacing and the yellow paint needs renewing.

I have found it amusing in these first few days of February having to figure out ways to TIE things together. Memories have been jolted by that one word.

And right now it's time to TIE on the feedbag and quell my hunger.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Women And Food . . .

. . . Do TIE Together

Perhaps it is a strange topic that I pursue tonight but I think those two things, women and food, do TIE themselves together in a way.

I am in the process of downsizing a garage full of boxes of printouts of e-mail messages now years old. I printed and saved them for some purpose.
I am trying to figure out that purpose.

It may have been for a book idea, maybe for historical and/or genealogical purposes, or to pass along later to others studying history or for their hobby collections, or even for story-telling!

In any case, as I said in a 2001 e-mail to somebody, (and have been repeating yearly ever since) I am downsizing all this paper in storage. I imagine I may repeat that statement again in 2020.

But back to food and women and how those subjects TIE together. This blog starts with a piece of paper saved from 2001 outlining what Yarntangler was doing in her spare time, BMH.

She wrote in an e-mail that she had laboriously listed from an atlas, using pen, pencil and schoolbook-lined paper, the identity of every town in the United States with a food-related name.

The list is somewhere in her archives, awaiting a planned use that yet has not come to fruition. Mustard for instance was one of the towns in her collection, and another was strawberry. Perhaps she meant to find Bread and make a sandwich of bread, mustard and strawberry jelly.

The other part of this blog's title, women, came about in another started but unfinished list of towns of the country with women's names. Making that list probably would have consumed lots of time as well.

She would start off, no doubt, with Ann and go through the alphabet to Zenna. Then I surmise, she would accomplish her TIE of the two subjects. as she puts Ann to work on fixing a Grape jelly sandwich for Geerzerguy to take to work in Eunice if he didn't get too hungry en route and devour it in Ruth.

Well, it's about half past seven here tonight. We had three inches of snow this morning but I didn't have to plow or shovel any and it's all gone tonight, after a bit of melting weather this afternoon.

I guess I've worked up my" TIE" for this evening's challenge. I 'spect I'll be with you again Friday night.

PS- BMH = before motor home

- 30 -

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Emotions Blossom . . .

. . . After Sea Journey

On a foggy, damp night in July, 1943, a few thousand soldiers asleep in crowded three and four-tiered high bunks of a troop ship were awakened by a series of bumps not long before midnight.

Earlier this entourage had been ordered to sleep in uniform that night with duffle bags at the ready. A sharp voice over the ship's loudspeakers explained the bumps - " we have docked." It became obvious the bumps wre not anticipated explosions but just the sounds of the ship hitting a mooring.

Emotions exploded as the soldiers cheered, men hugging each other whether they knew each other or not, exclaiming "they didn't get us, we're still OK." One could feel a tug of relief, knowing their Lord had brought them safely to Scotland.

It was a time when prayer was free, when men of all religons, expressed their TIES publicly to whatever diety they embraced, thanking GOD under whatever name for caring for them and keeping them safe.

I was one of the shipmates that night thanking my GOD for saving us all from the terrible fate that might have claimed us if a German U-boat had managed to torpedo our troopship during the ten days or so it followed our zig-zagging vessel across the north Atlantic Ocean from New York .

It was not long before dis-embarking began but before the orders came to leave the ship, Scottish welcomers swarmed aboard. GIs began yelling into the night "girls, girls, look at 'em, girls!"

By the dozens, Scottish lasses boarded the ship armed with tea cakes, and drinks for the soldiers. The ship's captain blared the announcement "no touching the girls, just take what they hand you and say thank you" but the announcement was lost in the frenzy of hugging and kissing that commenced.

The welcome party soon was over as town police escorted the girls from the ship. A few soldiers managed to learn the identities of their gift-givers and at least two that I know of maintained TIES that resulted in marriages after World War II.

The first land the soldiers saw after a perilous sea trip was the beautiful hills of Grennock, Scotland, as the early dawn light exposed the view when
the long troop train pulled away from the station en route south to England. About half the number of GIs left the ship that night, the rest bound for Africa.

Various units of men were dropped off in villages along the way in the following two days. This soldier was dropped off with two hundred others in Thatcham, in the county of Berkshire in southern England, home for the next three years.

Sometime later we learned that the troopship that carried us to Scotland, had continued its journey to Northern Africa with the remaining soliders aboard but never reached the destination - the U-boat had caught up with it. We prayed again for having been saved.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Birthday . . . .

. . . Little Sister

Margery dear, you've been wanting to be 79 for a whole year now and at 7 a. m. New England time today, you finally made it.

I'm glad we had that happy birthday conversation earlier today. It was really funny catching up with the happenings of that February 9th so long ago - Mother "breaking her leg" at 5 in the morning on the front walk and being rushed off to the hospital.

Our devious father sent us older boys back to bed with that explanation but never did tell us why she was out on the front walk so early in the morning and in her nightgown, too.

And then after a few days you came home in Mother's arms and Paul took a good look and said "that's not a turtle you told me I'd get. I'm not ever going to that hospital, they send you home with babies." But Paul eventually got to love you anyway even if you weren't a turtle.

Kids nowadays don't have to be fibbed to when there's a baby on the horizon - they know about the coming blessed event sometimes even before the mother does because kids these days learn things years ahead of when we oldsters did.

So now, how do I TIE this story together with anything else in this February challenge month? Think I can't? Listen up.

While I was working as a beginning reporter in the late 40s last century, I had occasion to wrie a story that TIES in with births - and here's a true story:

One afternoon a city policeman was assigned to find a man at work on an electrical job in the north part of the city.

He cruised around until he found the lineman atop a pole and asked him to come down, he needed to talk with him.

But the lineman said it would have to wait he was busy. The officer insisted but so did the lineman, yelling down "just tell me what you want, I'm busy."
So the polieman had to give him the message atop the pole and he yelled ":you're wanted at the hospital, your wife just had a baby."

The busy lineman flustered furiously in astonishment and promptly came down to the ground - but he didn't climb down, he fell from the top of the pole!

I came about writing the story when I got wind of the happening the next day and visited the new mother, her baby, and her husband - in the same hospital room!

Why did the lineman get so flustered that he fell? He didn't know his wife was going to have a baby.

AND neither did the Mrs. - she had been taken to the hsopital that morning because she had, she told her doctor, stomach cramps and never knew she was in a family way!

The baby and mother were fine. Here's where we TIE this story and my little sister's birth day together - HE had the broken leg that Margery's mommy didn't have!

- 30 -

Monday, February 8, 2010

Marriage Intentions . . .

. . . Abound in Newspaper

Whenever a longer then usual list of marriage intentions, supplied by the county clerk, appear in the records section of the newspaper, any newspaper, the list is a harbinger of weddings to come, either on New Year's Eve day or Saint Valentine's Day.

Once it was that in May, plans for a June wedding made themselves known in such public records domains but in my estimation June has lost its distinction as the most-wedding month. I am not sure which month might now have that title.

But what I do believe right about now is that there is a much-talked-about need for a New Year's Eve hitch and that discussion comes about on the heels of a DEPRESSION.

Yes, depression, because you know, despite what some are saying, we are in a depression.

I have heard of numerous couples who opted for that end-of-the-year wedding because of the thought that "we get married before New Year's, we can deduct a lot of money on our joint income tax return."

But the traditional day for a wedding is holding its own - Saint Valentine's Day, so I say to those planning to say "I do" on February 14, just a half dozen days away, go for it, TIE the knot.

You can always get the extra deduction next year, maybe even two if you hurry - AFTER THE WEDDING!

- 30 -